A double antibody sandwich ELISA developed by ID-DLO, Lelystad to detect Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection was used on 329 sheep from four pedigree Suffolk flocks in which clinical cases of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) had occurred. At subsequent necropsy, typical CLA lesions were seen in 133 sheep, and the diagnosis was confirmed on culture. Lesions were most commonly seen in lungs (n=46), parotid lymph nodes (n=44), prescapular lymph nodes (n=38) and mediastinal lymph nodes (n=31). The sensitivity of the ELISA test for detecting culture-positive sheep was 0.88, while the specificity of the test was 0.55. The antibody ELISA detected 87.5 per cent of sheep that had CLA lesions restricted to internal organs only. It was concluded that the ELISA test has a valuable role in detecting sheep with both clinical and subclinical CLA.
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